"See, Obyron, the separatists come – attempting to outflank me just as they did at the Fourth Battle of Vyndakh. How they calculate that daubing themselves green and roaring like savages will produce a different outcome, I cannot fathom; but it is of no account. Ready my legions – another glorious victory shall soon be ours."
Zahndrekh is a Necron Overlord and Nemesor of the Sautekh Dynasty who was once counted amongst the greatest generals of the lost Necrontyr empire. It was through his campaigns of conquest that his Tomb World of Gidrim rose from a small and insignificant planet on the fringes of the galaxy to become the iron-handed ruler of a dozen star systems.
Even now, though Gidrim has been subsumed as a crownworld of the larger Sautekh Dynasty, Zahndrekh is numbered amongst the mightiest of its heroes.
It is a reputation well deserved, for Gidrim is one of the more expansionist of the recently awoken crownworlds of Sautekh, and Zahndrekh's undying armies are an ever-present peril of the Milky Way Galaxy's Eastern Fringe.
Whilst possessing a grand and calculating military genius, many among the Necron nobility believed that Zahndrekh did not grasp reality as it truly is. Many thought his mind suffered damage during the Necrons' Great Sleep, and as a consequence he is trapped deep in the past, in the Wars of Secession that wracked his corner of the ancient Necrontyr empire.
In his mind, it seemed that he still fought these campaigns as a creature of flesh and blood, crushing rebellious kings and bringing their domains back into the fold. He did not see armies of Orks, Aeldari or Humanity, but hosts of rebellious kinsmen battling to sunder his beloved dynasties.
As such, Zahndrekh is one of the few Necron Overlords to employ the full protocols of honorable Necron warfare against all encroachers –- where others see aliens, he sees only Necrontyr. He disdains the use of Deathmarks, assassin Canoptek Wraiths and other strategies forbidden by the Necron codes of battle –- not that his subordinates have any such compunction.
Wherever possible, Zahndrekh ensures that enemy commanders are captured, not killed, and thereafter treated as honoured prisoners -– much to the outraged consternation of Zahndrekh's Royal Court.
Indeed, there are many Necron Lords in Zahndrekh's court who would dearly love to see the old general removed from power, for they judge his adrift perceptions to greatly outweigh his feats of battle. However, as befits his station, Zahndrekh has formidable defences against regicide.
His personal sepulchre is heavily woven with traps, his personal household retinue boasts three entire legions of Lychguard, and he even employs four score food tasters -- even though it has been countless millennia since any morsel passed his lips. Yet Zahndrekh has one defence greater than all others -- his aide and protector, Varguard Obyron.
During their campaigns, Zahndrekh and Obyron have proven to be an almost unbeatable combination. Zahndrekh seldom lowers himself to personal combat, but instead wields as a weapon his grand battlefield acumen that somehow remains undimmed by his faltering memory.
Under his gaze, the Necron armies of Gidrim react almost instantaneously to counter enemy strategies, shifting between aggressive and defensive postures at a moment's notice. With a few carefully chosen words of command, outflanking foes are isolated and crushed, enemy assault waves dispersed, and fire support positions obliterated.
Such is Zahndrekh's crystal-perfect reading of the flow of battle that even the enemy's experienced veterans often seem like raw and fumbling recruits as their every tactic is anticipated and their every skill countered. For his part, Obyron fights in the front lines, wielding his Warscythe with a precision to be expected of a warrior who counts his campaigns by the thousand.
Yet no matter how distant he is, Obyron always keeps close watch on Zahndrekh -- his responsibilities as a bodyguard outweigh any other considerations. Should Zahndrekh be threatened, Obyron always returns to his master's side.
It is well that Obyron is so dedicated, for few lords of Gidrim are eager to fight alongside their Nemesor. Some simply cannot tolerate Zahndrekh's constant stream of reminiscences to battles fought long ago, relevant to the campaign at hand though these recollections always are.
For others, Zahndrekh's damaged mind is a constant reminder of the fate that might one day be theirs, should need dictate they enter stasis sleep once more. None of them see that such damage has doubtless already been wrought -- that they are, in truth, just as blind to their own involuntarily idiosyncrasies as Zahndrekh is to his own.
However, in a rare moment of honesty between the nemesor and his Varguard, Zahndrekh revealed that he had not actually suffered engrammatic damage during the Great Sleep. Instead, he simply chooses to play the part of the fool.
He believes in accepting his fate as a soulless Necron and enjoying the immortality it has brought by pursuing endless campaigns with a merry attitude that is as honorable as when he was still a flesh-and-blood warrior. If others choose to see that as insanity, Zahndrekh can live with that stigma.
"It is a source of constant consternation that my opponents cannot correlate their innate inferiority with their inevitable defeat. It would seem that stupidity is as eternal as war."
- 813.M41 Escape from Cano'var - At Nemesor Zahndrekh's instruction, the Necron armies of the Tomb World of Gidrim invaded the Tau world of Cano'var, routing the planetary defenders after two standard weeks of campaigning. The Necron victory was short-lived, however. A demi-company of the White Scars Space Marine Chapter, led by Kor'sarro Khan, arrived on Cano'var, pursuing a now-obsolete punitive mission against the previous Tau inhabitants. An overwhelming volley of Gauss Weapon fire destroyed the White Scars' Thunderhawks moments after they landed, leaving Khan and his Battle-Brothers to fight a bold, but doomed, series of hit-and-run battles. Almost all of the White Scars were slain on Uzme Plateau, but Zahndrekh commanded that Kor'sarro Khan be spared and imprisoned. So did Khan begin a peculiar period of captivity beneath the surface of Cano'var. Zahndrekh treated him with honour, through few of the other Necron Lords even acknowledged his presence. At a bizarre feast, where food was placed before Zahndrekh and his court but went uneaten, Khan learned he is but one of a dozen prisoners. With the desire for freedom outweighing any ranklement or rivalry, Khan and the other captives conspired to escape. The Necrons were slow to react and so the breakout went well at first. Only when Vargard Obyron took command did things go badly for the escapees. Several of the fugitives were slain by Obyron's Warscythe, leaving only Kor'sarro and an Eldar Ranger by the name of Illic Nightspear to fight on, and the latter swiftly received a blow that sent him sprawling from the fight. Thus did the battle devolve into a duel atop bleeding bodies and broken machines. Khan's sword was quicker and guided by a desperate fury, but Obyron's undying machine body repaired any damage within only moments. Little by little, Khan tired, and the sweeping Warscythe came closer to connecting with each swing. Finally, one of the Vargard's blows was too swift for Khan to evade -- the Warscythe sliced through his armour and deep into his flesh. Before Obyron could finish his foe, there was an intervention from an unexpected source. Unknown to either combatants, Zahndrekh had been watching the fight from afar and, impressed by Khan's skill and bravery, ordered Obyron to stand aside and let him leave. Dragging the crippled Nightspear behind, Khan finally escaped to the surface, found a still-functioning Tau spacecraft and left Cano'var far behind. Khan and Nightspear parted ways shortly after, the Eldar to his Craftworld and the White Scar to Chogoris. Shortly after Khan's return to his Chapter planet, Nemesor Zahndrekh and Vargard Obyron were added to the Scrolls of Vengance, their names to be put forward as possible quarry for the next Great Hunt of the White Scars Chapter.
- Unknown Date.M41 Conquest of Uttu Prime - The Conquest of Uttu Prime was a military campaign led by Nemesor Zahndrekh against the Imperial world of Uttu Prime in the Vidar Sector in the late 41st Millennium. Despite the intervention of a force of Space Marines drawn from the Imperial Fists Chapter, the world was lost to the Necrons and was integrated into the personal domain of Zahndrekh within the larger Sautekh Dynasty.
- Necrodermis - Like all Necrons, Zahndrekh's body is built from the self-repairing living metal known as Necrodermis. As befits one of his lofty rank, Zahndrekh's body is of superior craftsmanship and richly adorned, clearly announcing his status and allowing him to repair even the most grievous of wounds in a matter of moments.
- Staff of Light - A Staff of Light is both a weapon and a symbol of Necron authority. Its haft is actually a disguised Power Generator Rod and the crest is a finely tuned focussing device which allows the wielder to unleash searing green bolts of Gauss energy at his foes.
- Resurrection Orb - A Resurrection Orb is a glowing sphere that focuses energy into the repair circuits of Necrons around the bearer. This allows them to regenerate at a rate faster than normal upon the battlefield
- Phase Shifter - Using a form of unknown inter-dimensional science, a Phase Shifter is a Necron defensive device that renders its bearer's form hazy and indistinct, as though they were not completely corporeal. Shots and blows can then pass through his mechanical body, meaning that even the most powerful weapons cannot harm him. This is because a Phase Shifter flickers the very fabric of its bearer into and out of a phased state as they move in between dimensions. If improperly timed, even the most powerful blows and shots aimed at the bearer of a Phase Shifter instead pass through empty air.
- Sempiternal Weave – A Sempiternal Weave is an advanced form of Necron technology used to augment the Necrodermis bodies of members of the Necron royalty. A Sempiternal Weave threads a Necron’s exoskeleton with filaments of phase-hardened amaranthite and adamantium, vastly increasing the body’s hardiness to a level that rivals Astartes Terminator Armour.
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 21, 25, 60-61, 82
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 136-137
- Games Workshop Online Store - Nemesor Zandrekh
- Severed (Novella) by Nate Crowley, pg. 121